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Publication numberUS20020025049 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/928,924
Publication dateFeb 28, 2002
Filing dateAug 14, 2001
Priority dateFeb 15, 1999
Also published asCN1248542C, CN1340282A, DE60004170D1, DE60004170T2, EP1153526A2, EP1153526B1, US6760461, WO2000048425A2, WO2000048425A3
Publication number09928924, 928924, US 2002/0025049 A1, US 2002/025049 A1, US 20020025049 A1, US 20020025049A1, US 2002025049 A1, US 2002025049A1, US-A1-20020025049, US-A1-2002025049, US2002/0025049A1, US2002/025049A1, US20020025049 A1, US20020025049A1, US2002025049 A1, US2002025049A1
InventorsHenry Azima, Neil Owen, Charles Bream, Christien Ellis
Original AssigneeHenry Azima, Owen Neil Simon, Charles Bream, Christien Ellis
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vehicle loudspeaker
US 20020025049 A1
Abstract
A vehicle windscreen accessory comprising a body member, an adjustable support structure for the body member whereby the position of the body member can be adjusted, the body member comprising a mirror member and a loudspeaker having a bending wave panel-form acoustic member, the mirror member and panel-form member being integral. The accessory can be in the form of, e.g., a sun visor or a rear view mirror.
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Claims(19)
1. A vehicle windscreen accessory comprising a body member and an adjustable support structure for the body member whereby the position of the body member can be adjusted, the body member comprising a loudspeaker having a bending wave panel-form acoustic member, wherein the bending wave panel-form acoustic member is in the form of a mirror member.
2. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 1, wherein the body member defines a hollow enclosure, and wherein one face of the panel-form member is enclosed in the hollow enclosure to reduce or prevent sound radiation from said one face.
3. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the panel-form member is a resonant member.
4. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 3, comprising an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.
5. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 2, comprising an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.
6. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 1, comprising an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.
7. A vehicle sun visor comprising a sun shield member and an adjustable support structure for the shield member, whereby the position of the shield member can be adjusted from an inoperative position to at least one operative position, the shield member comprising a loudspeaker having a bending wave panel-form acoustic member, wherein the shield member comprises a vanity mirror having a mirror member which forms the bending wave-panel form acoustic member of the loudspeaker.
8. A vehicle sun visor according to claim 7, wherein the shield member defines a hollow enclosure, and wherein one face of the panel-form member is enclosed in the hollow enclosure to reduce or prevent sound radiation from said one face.
9. A vehicle sun visor according to claim 7 or claim 8, wherein the panel-form member is a resonant member.
10. A vehicle sun visor according to claim 9, comprising an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.
11. A vehicle sun visor according to claim 8, comprising an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.
12. A vehicle sun visor according to claim 7, comprising an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.
13. A vehicle sun visor according to claim 7, comprising a microphone.
14. A vehicle rear view mirror comprising a body member and an adjustable support structure for the body member, whereby the position of the body member can be adjusted, the body member comprising a mirror member and a loudspeaker, wherein the loudspeaker comprises a bending wave panel-form acoustic member, and the mirror member acts as the bending wave panel-form acoustic member.
15. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 14, wherein the body member defines a hollow enclosure, and wherein one face of the panel-form member is enclosed in the hollow enclosure to reduce or prevent sound radiation from said one face.
16. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 14 or claim 15, wherein the panel-form member is a resonant member.
17. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 16, comprising an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.
18. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 15, comprising an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.
19. A vehicle rear view mirror according to claim 14, comprising an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.
Description

[0001] This application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/GB00/00405, filed Feb. 10, 2000, which was published under PCT Article 21 in English on Aug. 17, 2000.

[0002] 1. Technical Field

[0003] The invention relates to loudspeakers and, more particularly to bending wave panel-form loudspeakers, e.g. resonant panel loudspeakers of the general kind described in International patent application WO97/09842, which describes technology that has come to be known as distributed mode or DM technology. In particular the present invention relates to bending wave panel-form loudspeakers integrated into or attached to vehicle windscreen or windshield accessories, e.g. as in an automobile sun visor or rear view mirror.

[0004] 2. Background Art

[0005] A sun visor for an automobile or other vehicle is generally a hinged flap or panel which at rest is retracted against the roof of the vehicle but which may be moved on a hinge or other mechanism into a position of use to obscure part of the windscreen or windshield to shield the eyes of vehicle occupants, and particularly the vehicle driver's eyes, from the sun.

[0006] It is known to suggest the incorporation of slim-form loudspeakers in an automobile sun visor. Such an arrangement has certain disadvantages, amongst which is the fact that conventional pistonic loudspeakers are directional and thus when incorporated in a sun visor may only be optimally positioned when the visor is in a certain position. It is indeed likely that the optimal acoustic positioning of the loudspeaker in the sun visor will occur only when the visor is in use, whereas for most of the time the visor is likely to be in its retracted position. In addition conventional loudspeakers, even of slim form, are relatively bulky and heavy and may present an unacceptable injury risk positioned close to the head of the vehicle occupants.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 4,362,907 of Polacsek describes a combination automobile sun visor and radio and speaker assembly, in which the speaker is a thin, bi-directional device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] According to the invention, there is provided a vehicle windscreen accessory comprising a body member, an adjustable support structure for the body member whereby the position of the body member can be adjusted, the body member comprising a mirror member and a loudspeaker having a bending wave panel-form acoustic member, the mirror member and panel-form member being integral.

[0009] From one aspect the invention is a vehicle sun visor comprising a sun shield member and an adjustable support structure for the shield member, whereby the position of the shield member can be adjusted from an inoperative position to at least one operative position, the shield member comprising a vanity mirror having a mirror member and a loudspeaker having a bending wave panel-form acoustic member, the mirror member and the panel-form member being integral. The shield member may define a hollow enclosure, in which one face of the panel-form member is enclosed to reduce or prevent sound radiation from that one face. The panel-form member may be a resonant member, e.g. according to WO97/09842 and U.S. counterpart application Ser. No. 08/707,012, filed Sep. 3, 1996. The sun visor may comprise an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.

[0010] The application of DM technology to the problem of providing a loudspeaker in an automobile sun visor, where the range of angles of adjustment of the visor causes large changes in response with conventional speakers, results in improved performance since a DM loudspeaker type has a highly consistent response over a range of angles.

[0011] The visor may be used for mobile telephony and/or for music reproduction, with distributed mode action and acoustic output resulting in superior clarity and intelligibility in this application. The panel-form device may also form or incorporate a microphone to enhance its application to mobile telephony.

[0012] From another aspect the invention is a vehicle rear view mirror comprising a body member and an adjustable support structure for the body member, whereby the position of the body member can be adjusted, the body member comprising a mirror member and a loudspeaker having a bending wave panel-form member, the mirror member and the panel-form member being integral. The body member may define a hollow enclosure, and one face of the panel-form member may be enclosed in the hollow enclosure to reduce or prevent sound radiation from that one face. The panel-form member may be a resonant member. The rear view mirror may comprise an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter on the panel-form member for applying bending wave vibration thereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0013] The invention is described in detail below and diagrammatically illustrated, by way of example, in the accompanying drawing, in which:

[0014]FIG. 1 is a face view of a vehicle sun visor;

[0015]FIG. 2 is an exploded partial sectional view to an enlarged scale of the sun visor of FIG. 1;

[0016]FIG. 3 is a face view of an automobile interior rear-view mirror;

[0017]FIG. 4 is a sectional plan view of the rear-view mirror of FIG. 3;

[0018]FIG. 5 is a face view of another embodiment of interior rear view mirror, and

[0019]FIG. 6 is a sectional plan view of the rear view mirror of FIG. 5.

BEST MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0020] In the drawing, and referring more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown an automobile sun visor (1) comprising a generally rectangular flat sun shield member or body (2) adjustably supported on a support structure comprising a mounting bracket (3) fixed to the automobile (not shown) adjacent to the upper corner of the windscreen or windshield thereof (not shown), the bracket (3) carrying an arm (4) by means of a friction-stabilised ball and socket joint (5) whereby the arm can be moved universally relative to the bracket (3). The arm (4) carries the shield member (2) such that the member (2) can pivot on the arm (4) in conventional manner so that the member (2) can be adjusted in position as required. The member (2) is formed with a generally rectangular aperture (12) in which a vanity mirror assembly (6) is mounted by means of frame parts (9,9′) which engage opposed faces of the member (2) and which are secured together by fasteners (11). A mirror member (7) is clamped between the frame parts (9,9′) and is held at its periphery in a resilient suspension (10) engaged between the frame parts (9,9′). It will be seen that the frame part (9) at the front of the mirror is open whereas the frame part (9′) at the rear is in the form of an open grille.

[0021] The mirror member (7) is in the form of a stiff lightweight member, e.g. of plastics or glass or of a composite construction, which acts as a bending wave panel-form loudspeaker diaphragm and is driven in bending by an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter (8) fed with an audio signal in conventional manner. In operation of the loudspeaker, the flexible movements of the panel (7) are very small and do not affect the function of the mirror. The loudspeaker is preferably a resonant device, e.g. of the kind described in WO97/09842 and counterpart U.S. application Ser. No. 08/707,012. Since the panel (7) is open at both its front and back, both faces can radiate an acoustic output.

[0022] In FIGS. 3 and 4 there is shown an automobile interior rear view mirror (13) comprising a body member (16) supported by a generally conventional adjustable support structure (14) whereby the attitude of the mirror can be adjusted as desired. The body (16) carries a mirror member (17) by means of peripheral resilient suspension 10. At its centre, the body is formed with an aperture (12) and at its rear the body is bulged at (18) to define a closed cavity (15) aligned with the aperture (12).

[0023] The central portion (7) of the mirror member (17) in the area of the aperture (12) is arranged to act as a bending wave panel-form loudspeaker—preferably a resonant device as aforesaid—and is acted on by an inertial electrodynamic vibration exciter (8) which applies bending wave vibration to the central portion of the mirror member to produce an audio output. The flexible movement of the central portion of the mirror is, however, too small to adversely affect the operation of the rear view mirror. The mirror may be of glass or plastics or may be of composite construction. In this arrangement, sound radiation from the rear face of the mirror is substantially attenuated by reason of its enclosure in the cavity (15).

[0024] The rear view mirror (20) of FIGS. 5 and 6 is very similar to that of FIGS. 3 and 4, except in this case the whole of the body (16) forms a cavity (19) behind the front face of the mirror member (17). In this arrangement it may still be desirable that only part of the mirror member (17) is driven as a bending wave loudspeaker, and to achieve this it may be necessary to mass load the mirror to define the required acoustically active area, e.g. as described in WO97/09842 and U.S. Ser. No. 08/707,012.

[0025] The invention thus provides novel and effective mirror/vehicle windscreen accessory devices.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7062060 *Feb 4, 2003Jun 13, 2006Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai-Rika-Denki-SeisakushoOuter mirror and interphone for a vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification381/86, 381/334, 359/871, 359/844, 381/389, 381/152, 340/425.5
International ClassificationH04R1/02, H04R9/06, H04R7/04, B60J3/02, B60R1/12
Cooperative ClassificationB60J3/0204, B60R1/12, H04R9/066, H04R7/045, H04R1/028, B60R2001/1276
European ClassificationH04R7/04D, H04R1/02E, B60J3/02B, B60R1/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 3, 2012FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Dec 11, 2007FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Nov 1, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: NEW TRANSDUCERS LIMITED, UNITED KINGDOM
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:AZIMA, HENRY;OWEN, NEIL SIMON;BREAM, CHARLES;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:012292/0528;SIGNING DATES FROM 20010911 TO 20010918
Owner name: NEW TRANSDUCERS LIMITED IXWORTH HOUSE 37 IXWORTH P
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:AZIMA, HENRY /AR;REEL/FRAME:012292/0528;SIGNING DATES FROM 20010911 TO 20010918